Posted in: Selling a home

Emotional mistakes to avoid when selling your home

Emotional mistakes to avoid when selling your home

Key insights:

  • When listing your home for sale, be sure to separate your own memories and experiences from the process. List the home based on its true condition, not its personal value to you.
  • Even as today’s sellers earn top dollar for their homes, it’s critical to prepare your home before listing it on the market.
  • Don’t compare your experience to the neighbors’. Each home is different, and each home selling experience will differ as a result.

When selling your home, it’s natural to feel nostalgic and even upset at times. However, to ensure you get a fair offer and a fast path to closing, it’s important to remain as emotionally detached as possible. Here are five emotional mistakes every homeowner should avoid when selling a home in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.

Mistake 1: Not recognizing your home’s imperfections

The first step to emotionally detaching from your home is recognizing that your home isn’t perfect. Just as you’ll be showing off your home’s best features in order to draw in a higher offer, buyers and their agents may focus on the property’s flaws in order to get a better deal. Remember that this isn’t a personal attack — you are just on opposite sides of a business transaction.

Prior to listing your home, you’ll want to work with your agent to determine what imperfections should be fixed prior to listing, and what price is fair, given your home’s condition.

Mistake 2: Not prepping for showings

It’s true that today’s market favors sellers, and that most homes are selling fast and for top dollar. However, that doesn’t mean that sellers should get complacent. Today’s buyers are still discerning and most are not willing to settle for a home that’s cluttered or in disrepair.

To appeal to most buyers, it’s critical that your home be free of clutter, and staged to show off its best features. Additionally, your home should be spotless any time you leave the house, so you can accept last-minute showings without rushing home to wash the dishes or make the bed.

Some sellers balk at this need for perfection, especially if their home has been on the market for more than a few weeks. But the reality is that when a home is sparkling clean, it shows the pride the seller has in the house — and indicates to the buyer that the property is worth its listing price.

Mistake 3: Comparing your sale to others

You may have heard that your neighbors, family or friends received 25% over asking, or 13 bids on their home — and it’s natural to wonder if your property may receive the same treatment from buyers. Entering the market with sky-high expectations is a mistake, because it can cloud your judgment when a good (or even great) offer comes in.

The reality is that the market is always changing, demand can greatly vary by location, and each house is unique, with its own appeal or drawbacks. (Furthermore, each buyer is also unique.) Rather than relying on “can you believe it” anecdotes from other sellers, work with your REALTOR® to review current market activity for homes in your area. This will help you set realistic expectations for your home sale, and make you feel more confident as you review any offers that come in.

Mistake 4: Refusing early bids

That said, you may be surprised by how quickly the market is moving for many sellers. Today’s buyers have been told to move swiftly on homes they’re interested in, due to the extremely low inventory in our area. Don’t make the mistake of refusing early bids, or thinking that your home is priced too low if you get immediate offers.

Prior to listing, your Realtor can walk you through what to expect, including:

  • The typical showing activity in the first few days after listing.
  • The need for an open house, to manage buyer traffic.
  • How to strategically time offers so you can review them all at once.

From there, you’ll be in a better position to review early bids, make a counter-offer, or confidently accept an offer outright.

Mistake 5: Expecting perfect timing

As a home seller, you may be hoping to line up your home sale with your new home purchase — and avoiding the stress of short-term housing or putting your belongings in storage. This is an ideal solution, but it’s important to recognize that even if your timing isn’t perfectly aligned, it’s not a sign that your move should be delayed.

Many home sellers who are thrilled by the pace of sales and high prices are stunned when they realize how stressful it is to enter the market on the other side, as a buyer. Rather than forcing a move to a home that isn’t just-right, agents can help these in-limbo sellers with short-term housing so they can wait for their dream home.

Plenty of housing options are available and the short-term inconvenience of living in an extended stay hotel or furnished apartment will be worth it in the long run when you find the perfect property to call home.

Ready to see what your home is worth in today’s market?

We have local specialists in every neighborhood across Minnesota and western Wisconsin who would love to help you determine a price and selling strategy for your home. Contact Edina Realty or your agent today to get started.

Join over {{'43232' | number}} subscribers

Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings